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9 Applications of AR & VR in the Financial Industry

23 March 2018
Bram Nawijn

When people think of virtual reality or augmented reality, many think of video games. Some of the most popular uses of these technologies are, in fact, video games. But there is another world of Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality that is growing.

9 Applications in the Financial Industry

Businesses, including those in the financial industry, are trying to incorporate many of those same technologies into their services. While there is still some time before AR and VR truly take hold in many industries, including finance, they have already started to make an impact and cause disruptions, using some of the following applications:

1. Data Visualization

Being able to visualize data is an important tool traders use to help them make important decisions about wealth management, especially as the financial industry becomes more complex and there is more data to analyze. AR and VR add to this experience and make it easier and faster to visualize and organize large amounts of data. Salesforce uses Oculus Rift to create an immersive 3D environment for analyzing data. Fidelity Labs, a part of Fidelity Investments, has also taken advantage of the technology behind Oculus Rift. They created a virtual world called “StockCity” where stock portfolios are turned into a virtual 3D city, where investors can immerse themselves in the data. Also read: Futures be augmented of virtual with AR/VR

2. Virtual Trading

Some companies are making trading a virtual experience by creating virtual reality workstations for trading. Citi uses Microsoft HoloLens to give traders Holographic Workstations. This type of workstation offers 2D and 3D elements that add to the bank’s existing processes. Comarch uses virtual reality in their wealth management software to give users better access to algorithms and trading tools.


Also read: The Fundamentals of Machine Learning [whitepaper]


3. Virtual Reality Payments

Some companies are even making payments a virtual experience. MasterCard has partnered with Wearality to create a world where consumers can make purchases without leaving the virtual world. They have a virtual reality golf experience called ‘Priceless’ and players are able to buy clothing in the virtual world, without having to do anything offline.

4. Security

In order to create a more secure customer experience, biometric security could be introduced in an AR system that could then connect with a VR world. These could be used to access VR bank services, make ATM transactions, or make payments.

5. Financial Education

For both employees and customers of financial institutions, education is important for understanding changes in financial systems. AR and VR have huge potential for teaching people new information in the VR Finance.

6. Customer Service

Many financial institutions are also using AR and VR to help improve the experience of their customers. Many banks have AR apps that help customers find the nearest banks and ATMs. When in a city, they can scan the area with their phones and see real-time information about location, distance, and services at nearby banks.

Some real estate firms have apps that allow customers to pass by and scan houses with their phones or tablets to get more detailed info about the property. Advanced options that we may see soon are mortgage calculators and 3D interiors in the AR environment.

7. Virtual Branches

Digital-only banks and mobile banks are already here. But someday soon we may be able to go to a virtual bank. If customers are not able to visit a physical branch location for whatever reason, there will soon be given the possibility to go to a virtual branch. The hope is that these branches will be able to provide the same services but exclusively in a VR environment.

Not only is this experience helpful to customers, but it also reduces costs for banks as they no longer need to invest in physical locations.

8. Recruitment and Training

In order to provide high-quality services to customers, financial institutions need to make sure they are recruiting top talent and training all employees to give them skills that will help them do their jobs to the best of their abilities. Some banks are using a VR experience to show tech recruits how innovative and tech-savvy the bank is. Potential employees, as well as current employees, use this platform to form teams and create apps that will help the bank’s customers.

9. Customer Acquisition

Millennials are an often talked about generation, as they have grown up in a very different world then their parents or grandparents. Because they are a generation that has grown up with technology, they view many systems differently than other generations. In fact, according to figures from the Millennial Disruption Index, 73% of Millennials are looking to Google, PayPal, and Apple for financial products, as opposed to local banks. 33% feel that banks will not be necessary in the near future. Banks and other institutions looking to appeal to his group as well as the generations that follow are incorporating more technology, including AR and VR, into their systems in order to attract and retain customers.


Also read: The Fundamentals of Machine Learning [whitepaper]


The financial industry needs to keep up
As technology continues to evolve and this type of adjacent realities become more mainstream, financial institutions will have to keep up in order to attract and retain both customers and employees. The world of AR and VR has already impacted how financial institutions interact with customers, train employees, provide services, and manage data. As these technologies evolve, the financial industry needs to keep up or face the risk of losing customers to non-financial institutions or, worse yet, become irrelevant.

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